How to Fight Comparison as an Artist

By Lily Cooper
Professional Writing Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Portrait of woman working at desk in a loft

Being an artist can be a tough job. Between coming up with ideas, producing them and marketing it, it can get tiring. Not to mention that it can also be hard to always be coming out with new stuff and keeping up with the saturated market.

It feels like everyone is going out and making art, seemingly taking all the good ideas with them. It can be discouraging and make you wonder if you have anything else to offer.

Every artist feels this way sometime in their career. The green-eyed monster likes to come in and compare your work with everyone else.

You may have had these thoughts flow through your head:

  • Why can’t my art look like that?
  • I should have thought of that.
  • Why can’t I become that successful?
  • Why doesn’t my art come out as easily and flawlessly as that?

It’s easy to snowball down the comparison hill when you can see everyone’s art and success all over social media and the internet. On Instagram, artists show their perfectly curated art in a beautiful edited photograph and Twitter showcases artists getting thousands of retweets and favorites from people all over the world.

How to Fight Comparison

How do you go against that green-eyed monster and focus on your own art and skill? There are a few things you can do. First, ask yourself these questions about the artist you are comparing yourself to:

  • How long have they been doing this?
  • Why are they doing this?
  • What is their story?
  • What can I take from this to help my own art?

This helps put things in perspective. Many times, we don’t know the whole story. We don’t see the hours that the artist spent on their piece, we just see the pretty picture. It’s easy to think that they are just naturally gifted, but most of the time, they have years of experience on us as well.

We assume so many things with a first look that we don’t stop to think about them. Their story is different than ours and that is what makes them unique. At the very most, take what you see and like in their art and learn from it.

A second thing you can do is to delete social media when working on a piece. This helps you stay focused on what you are doing and ignore any other artists that may attract your attention and cause you to compare your ideas to theirs. Deleting social media will also give you the perspective that anything on the internet can quickly fade away with a pull of a plug, but what you are doing, you can hold physically and will last forever.

The third and final thing you can do to fight that comparison monster is to remember that God made us all unique. We are individuals made to do something that is curated towards us and our personality. We can appreciate other forms of art and artists, but we need to remember that we don’t want to be second-rated copies of someone else. We want to create unique content and express something true to our heart and soul.

If you want to learn more about Grand Canyon University’s theatre program within the College of Fine Arts and Production, check out our website or click the Request More Information button on this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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